1. shamrock838
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    shamrock838 Member

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    Scan Color 35mm’s & B/W’s Digitally?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by shamrock838, Nov 15, 2009.

    Scan Color 35mm’s & B/W’s Digitally?:

    As a writer/photographer of nonfiction magazine articles, I have supporting illustrations in these formats:
    1. COLOR - older 35mm color transparencies + newer digital images.
    2. B/W - older glossy prints and negative strips.

    Should I first scan the color 35mm’s and B/W’s into digital format? If so, which format: - JPG, PDF, TIF?

    Lastly, wouldn’t digitizing everything also guard against possible loss of irreplaceable illustrations? I would then transfer these to a CD for submission.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My pops recently purchased a pretty decent scanner and I did the very same thing with all of my negatives. I live in the tropics which is a harsh environment for any kind of solid media. I got him to also scan all of the old family photos which had unfortunately aged poorly due to lack of knowledge at the time about acid free storage.

    I was able to rectify a good bit of the yellowing and fading that had happened to some favorite old photos and very, very old photos that my parents still had from their own childhoods are now preserved from further disintegration.

    I have only recently been able to explain to my parents the necessity of matting photos within a frame, especially here in the humidity of Puerto Rico, and a number of treasured hardcopies are now permanently stuck to the glass.

    It took a good bit to get everything digitized, but I think it was well worth the effort.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This really isn't a writing issue.

    However, even though JPG is not a lossless format, I would probably use it or PNG, at a low compression ratio and at a higher resolution than for normal use. You can always resample a copy for lower resolution or higher compression, but once you've thrown out the information, you can't get it back.

    If you have clean, scratch-free negatives and glossy prints for the same image, I usually prefer to scan the negative. It's the primary medium, and depending on the quality of the printing service, the print may have lost details in the highlights or the shadows.

    As for loss prevention, it's never a bad idea to keep copies in different locations and different archival methods.
     
  4. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    If you are looking to maintain some level of print quality, I would suggest TIF as your end file type. When scanning, you have a few options depending on your intent. It has to do with scan DPI.

    If you ever plan to print with these, at the same size as scanned, minimum scan DPI is 300 (300 is the standard print quality DPI). However, if you ever think that you want to blow up a picture or for a larger print size, scan at a higher DPI. Example, if you scan at 600DPI, then you would be able to make a print 2x larger than the original and 1200DPI would be 4x the original. Remember that scanning at a higher DPI will also make a larger digital file size. CDR's are cheap so that shouldn't matter too much.

    I have a bit of print experience so I hope that helps a bit.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My biggest problem with TIFF is that there are many different variants. It may no longer be a major problem, but I had compatibility issues in the early days with TIFFs generated by different programs. But my past experiences with it bias me against it somewhat.

    JPEG is a more restricted format, which in the end makes it more portable. It isn't lossless, but at low compression ratios and typical images, the distinction is not that significant. Images containing a lot of hard edges, for instance images with lettering, overlaid hard-edged graphics and the like, will show the most degradation from JPEG compression.

    If your images come from a digital camera, raw mode retains the most detailed image data, but it will be useless without the software for that camera family.
     
  6. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    I think with Photoshop pretty much only presenting No compression, LZW and ZIP, that all the variations of TIFF kind of got whittled down to the most used. It was nice to try to have a file format standard but it wasn't everything to everybody and found that TIF was not useful for web as JPG was etc.

    I most often save to TIF if I plan to print without using Quark or am saving it, such as a picture where layout is not needed. I haven't had any real issues for a quite a long time.

    I'm pretty comfortable with TIF these days. It's become so normalized that most print shops are ok with receiving work in flattened tiff formats. Not my favorite way to go but can pretty much produce a clean and clear job with almost no degradation from file to paper.

    Don't fear the TIF (..or reaper, I can't remember which... ;) )
     
  7. shamrock838
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    shamrock838 Member

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    Submitting Digital Images via CD

    Submitting Digital Images via CD:

    When I submit an illustrated article for publication, I do it two ways simultaneously:
    (1) E-MAIL – cover letter plus attached MSS as MS-Word .doc file (without illustrations attached). This is cross-referenced to (2);
    (2) SNAIL-MAIL – cover letter plus two hard copy MSS printouts, CD with digital illustrations, SASP (return postcard to verify safe receipt), and return SASE. This is cross-referenced to (1).

    Question: - what’s the best way to identify CD-submitted digital illustrations in terms of image and personal identification, plus copyright information?

    Thanks.
     
  8. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just talked with my printer...he owns a large, professional print company that produces books, magazines, posters, etc. He has 35 years of experience in printing and upgrades his equipment every year (just bought a $1.8 million dollar digital printer!)

    George told me printers prefer TIFF files in at least 300 dpi resolution for magazines and books. He said TIFF files produce the highest quality. His second choice is JPEG in the same resolution...it produces a smaller file but has less flexibility for the printer.

    Both TIFF and JPEG files can be stored in ZIP format.

    As far as copyright and identification, you can embed a watermark (copyright or your company name) onto all the images you submit. Then, submit the pictures in low resolution, called FPO- For Positioning Only by the printing industry. After the buyer pays you for the image, you send the un-watermarked, full resolution image(s) for print. This practice is common in the printing industry. Of course, any copyright is only as good as your documentation, so this method of dealing with printers leaves a good paper trail. The images you initially submit in FPO format are unsuitable for any use other than positioning. And you only provide the full-res image after being paid. Also, you can sell the image outright or you can provide a license arrangement for the image if you wish to retain ownership.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Digimarc embeds a digital watermark that is not visible to the human eye, but can be read by the Digimark reader even after the image is cropped and heavily edited. I have used it in the past.
     

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